General Law Committee
JOINT FAVORABLE REPORT
AN ACT PREVENTING PRESCRIPTION OPIOID DIVERSION AND ABUSE.
SPONSORS OF BILL:
Rep. Joe Aresimowicz, 30th Dist.
Rep. Matthew Ritter, 1st Dist.
Sen. Martin M. Looney, 11th Dist.
Sen. Bob Duff, 25th Dist.
REASONS FOR BILL:
The reason for this bill is proposed changes to legislation that would help agencies with preventing prescription opioid diversion and abuse.
RESPONSE FROM ADMINISTRATION/AGENCY:
Governor Dannel Malloy and Lt. Governor Wyman, State of Connecticut:
Cities and towns have been touched by substance abuse and the growing pain killer epidemic. Efforts are needed to curb diversion and are important in preventing the opportunity for abuse. Efforts must persist to address this troubling problem.
Jonathan Harris(Commissioner), Department of Consumer Protection:
Connecticut like many states is combatting drug diversion, misuse and addiction. No one is immune. In collaboration with Governor Malloy's office, sister agencies and various stakeholders, DCP continuously evaluates current laws and practices to identify gaps in the system. In this proposal there would be changes in how DCP can assist with helping to combat this problem.
Raul Pino (Commissioner, M.D., MPH), The Connecticut Department of Public Health:
Opioid overdoses on the rise, in 2015, 33,000 opioid deaths have occurred nationwide.
In Connecticut alone, 800 deaths due to overdose have occurred since January 1, 2015 through August 2, 2016. Last year legislation passed Public Act 16-43 to help address this crisis. House Bill 7052 proposes to enhance efforts to educate patients about opioid risks.
Department Public Health supports changes to allow Department of Consumer Protection under certain circumstances to share data through Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP). This data sharing would be confidential under CGS Section 19a-25.
Miriam Delphin-Rittmon (Commissioner), Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services:
Governor Malloy's proposed legislation includes addiction prevention measures for opioid abuse. One of the best ways to address this is through education and prevention. Educating the public regarding medicine disposal and securing medications are important steps in combatting this crisis as well.
NATURE AND SOURCES OF SUPPORT:
Jonathan Craig Allen, MD, (Medical Director), Rushford Center:
Electronic submission of prescriptions for buprenorphine based medications will greatly facilitate the prescribing process while reducing potential for fraud and creating a system trackable data. Urges support for this bill to ensure access and coordination of evidence based treatment for those suffering from opioid use disorders.
Carrie Rand-Anastasiades, Connecticut Association of Community Pharmacies:
In order to curb drug diversion, electronic transmission of controlled substances is a must. Electronic submission is the safest way to prevent fraudulent use of paper prescriptions.
Connecticut Hospital Association:
Connecticut hospitals provide high quality care for everyone regardless of ability to pay. The CHA is proud to engage in Connecticut's effort to reduce the potential for opioid addiction. The CHA would also like the state to commit to sufficient funding and human resources that will be needed. Also, there needs to be sufficient time to implement the bill.
Shawn Lang (Deputy Director), AIDS CT:
As Deputy Director of AIDS, CT they are in agreement of this bill.
NATURE AND SOURCES OF OPPOSITION:
Dr. Arnold Goldman, Connecticut Veterinary Medical Association:
CVMA feels that this mandate as written would include veterinarians and the association would like to have veterinarians exempt from the bill. Animals do not feign pain and an owner would subject their pet to exams, -x-rays and other tests, an owner who comes into the office and immediately asks for medication would be suspect. Though many veterinarians are attempting to comply with legislation, many do not have the software. It is important for veterinarians be excluded from this bill.
Reported by: Nicholas A. Rogers